Monkey Butter Banana Jam Canning Recipe

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Monkey Butter and Banana Jam are safe recipes to preserve in a jar for long-term storage despite some controversy on the Internet. The key to any canning recipe is to control the recipe’s overall acidity and use the right amount of heat and time, known as processing, to prevent bacteria growth. This understood balance of time, temperature and acidity gives us a delicious shelf-stable spread to enjoy year after year.

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Just as we can make a lower acid fruit, or vegetable, shelf stable, the same can be said for the delicious banana. Underripe green bananas have a pH range from 4.5 to 4.7 similar to the pH range of tomatoes, which is 4.3 to 4.9 respectively.

As a banana ripens, its pH increases, making it less acidic, having a pH range from 4.8 to 5.2. The key to safely preserving bananas in a jar is to select unripe bananas while their peels are still green and not yellow.

Traditional Monkey Butter combines the sweetness of pineapple with the creaminess of banana, then adds texture to its smoothness with the addition of dried coconut. The dried coconut can be shredded, flaked, of desiccated and may be sweet or unsweetened. It is truly a personal preference.

I will often omit dried coconut from the recipe because my son does not like the texture of dried coconut no matter how its used. Feel free to add or omit dried coconut based on your personal preference. Omitting it from monkey butter creates an amazing tropical banana jam fit for any occasion.

Monkey Butter Banana Jam Canning Recipe

Makes approx. 8 half-pints of 4 pints

Adorn pancakes or toast, or use as a crepe filling, this scrumptious spread will level up any breakfast. Enhance your muffin making by using 1 cup of monkey butter banana jam in the batter or use a ½ cup to glaze two chicken breasts on the grill. I have even served a half-pint on a summer charcuterie board alongside a variety of meats and cheese. The possibilities are endless.


  • 6 unripe bananas
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 20-oz can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup dried unsweetened or sweetened coconut (optional)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Peel the bananas and add them to a thick-bottomed pot. Mash with a fork or potato masher. Next add the granulated and brown sugar, and mash again. Add the crushed pineapple and its liquid, water, dried coconut (if using), lemon juice, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well to combine.
  2. Bring the ingredients to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring often. Once at a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often and mashing when necessary to create a consistent texture. If you prefer a creamier texture, you may puree the ingredients using a hand stick immersion blender and boil for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Using a funnel, ladle the jam into jars, leaving a ¼-inch headspace. Remove any trapped air pockets and add additional jam if necessary to maintain the ¼-inch headspace.
  4. Wipe the rim of each jar with a washcloth dipped in vinegar. Place lid and ring on each jar and hand tighten.
  5. Place jars in the rack of a water bath canner and be sure jars are fully submerged in water. Bring the canner to a full rolling boil using high heat. Process pint jars for 15 minutes and half-pint jars for 10 minutes. Remember, your timer doesn’t start until the water is at a full rolling boil!

Ingredient Tip: Feel free to play with a variety of warm spices like pumpkin pie spice, allspice, cloves, cardamom, or finely chopped crystalized ginger customizing this recipe to suite your tastebuds and its intended use.

Happy Canning!
Diane, The Canning Diva®



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